The FEI Tribunal has issued its Final Decision in the matter of FEI Official Veterinarian Mr Marc Juul H. Schelkens (FEI ID 10050129/BEL).
In November 2021, it was brought to the attention of the FEI that Mr Schelkens failed to implement the biosecurity measures as required by the FEI Veterinary Regulations and the EHV-1 By-Laws while officiating in his capacity as Veterinary Delegate at the Bonheiden and Lier (BEL) Events in the second half of 2021. Among others, at the Lier Event in November 2021, no rectal temperature check was performed on the horses at the Examination on Arrival and falsified rectal temperature data was inserted into the HorseApp by Mr Schelkens. At the Bonheiden Events, the temperature check was not performed rectally as required and was conducted during the Horse Inspection, enabling non-examined horses mixing with already examined horses, thus in breach of the FEI Veterinary Regulations and the EHV-1 By-Laws.
Following the outbreak of the neurological form of EHV-1 in February 2021, to ensure a safe return to competition, the FEI Veterinary Regulations and the EHV-1 By-Laws require that at the start of an FEI Event, all participating horses must be examined upon arrival in a designated Examination on Arrival Area with registration of horses’ rectal temperatures via the FEI HorseApp.
In its Final decision, the FEI Tribunal suspended Mr Schelkens for a period of three years. The period of provisional suspension, which came into effect on 11 November 2021, is credited against this period of suspension, meaning he is ineligible to officiate until 10 November 2024. Mr Schelkens is also fined CHF 2,000 and asked to pay costs of CHF 1,000.
The parties can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within 21 days of receipt of the decision.
The full Decision is available here.